Parle Agro locks horns with Walmart India in the Bombay HC over its product Appy Fizz

In a rare incidence of a local company taking action against a multinational for alleged trademark violation, Parle Agro has moved the Bombay High Court against Walmart India for selling an apple drink with ‘deceptively similar mark’ as its Appy Fizz. In an interim order, the court has restrained Walmart from selling any product allegedly similar to the petitioner’s product until further order. The country’s largest homegrown beverage firm has alleged that the Indian unit of the world’s largest retailer was manufacturing, marketing, selling and promoting an apple drink, ‘Fizzy Apple’, using identical font, style and colour scheme as those Parle Agro uses for Appy Fizz.

“The mark, shape of the bottle, colour scheme, label, get up, layout and the entire trade dress of the defendants impugned product is identical to the plaintiff’s product.,” advocate Hiren Kamod, representing Parle Agro, told the court. “It is obvious that the defendants are trying to sail as close to the wind as possible and have made all possible attempts to come as close as possible to Appy Fizz’.” Bombay High Court Justice BP Collabawala granted an interim relief to Parle Agro on July 9. He will next hear the matter on August 20.

Launched in 2005, Appy Fizz was the country’s first sparkling apple juice drink and dominates the segment with more than 90% market share. Bollywood start Salman Khan is the brand ambassador for the brand. “The defendants are seeking to ride on the reputation and goodwill generated by the plaintiff in its ‘Appy Fizz’ product and the extensive promotion and advertisement of the same undertaken by the plaintiff and are seeking to make wrongful gains,” Kamod told the court.

Abhishek Malhotra, managing partner of law firm TMT Law Practice, representing Walmart India, argued that the word ‘Fizzy’ is a common descriptive word and no one can claim a monopoly on the same. Parle Agro declined to comment since the matter is sub judice. Email queries to Walmart India remained unanswered as of press time Friday. When contacted, Kamod and Malhotra declined to comment since the matter is sub judice.


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